[Runequest] Runequest Digest, Vol 30, Issue 25

Wayne Shaw shaw at caprica.com
Fri Nov 19 06:07:30 EST 2010

At 10:55 AM 11/18/2010, you wrote:
>Not sure I agree.  While there's not too much of "aiming for the 
>head and hitting the foot" I saw plenty of cases both when I was in 
>martial arts and in fencing where the available target that 
>presented itself was what you hit, and where you got somewhere near 
>what you were aiming for but not on it.
>That's fine and still modelled in the MRQ2 rules. You get a better 
>level of success and instead of 'Choose Location' you go for an 
>'Impale' on a random target instead. ;)
>In my real world fighting I nowadays very rarely get caught on 
>adjacent targets or randomly interposed limbs, When I do hit an 
>unexpected location I personally consider it a 'miss', since usually 
>the blow has either been interrupted early, landed late or glanced 
>which normally results in insufficient force being inflicted. That 
>is true for both weapons and unarmed strikes, especially the latter 
>where an inch off precise distance can negate a telling blow.
>Still MRQ2 combat is an abstract model which I based on my own 
>experiences. If I gain an tactical advantage in combat (force my 
>opponent to open a hole where I want one, gain superior position 
>etc) then the chance of striking something other than my intended 
>location is a lot less than 1 in 20.  Bear in mind also that there 
>are significant differences in close quarter Medieval fighting 
>styles and the extreme range, touch kills of modern fencing (if that 
>is what you were doing), which might explain in part our separate 
>experiences. :)

Note I also mentioned my martial arts experience, which included 
baton work, staff and a few other things.

The issue is that often there was no reason to wait around for a 
"telling blow"; if you can hit someone's arm a good strike with a 
staff, that'll move things toward the intent to defeat him too, 
rather than wait around for an opening that's actually more likely to 
come if you've already numbed that arm.  While its' all fine and good 
to want that finishing shot, waiting around for it rather than taking 
the targets you're presented seems, well, suboptimal.

(If anything, it makes less sense to take those in fencing, since 
many locations aren't considered "legitimate"; as such I tend to give 
the greater attention to my martial arts experience, and I spent 
plenty of times hitting what became available there).

I'm not suggesting that a completely random location roll is the best 
model; I'm just suggesting the opposite may not be a better 
one.  Reality seems to land somewhere in between to me.
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